Salary cap set, Jets have roughly $55 million in cap space

The salary cap has been set for next season at $143.28 million (Graziano, March 2).

At the moment, the Jets have roughly $55 million in cap space. If the club releases WR Percy Harvin, they will clear another $10.5 million (Cimini, March 2).

As reporter Rich Cimini explains, the Jets will have to spend around $60 million in order to be in compliance with the NFL’s minimum-spending requirement.

Mock Draft Round-up

Here’s a rundown of a number of mock drafts from around the web and who the different analysts have the Jets taking.  Marcus Mariota seems to be the most popular player for the Jets to pick, but  Amari Cooper and Dante Fowler also make some appearances … see the picks and the reasoning from each mock drafter below:

Mel Kiper, ESPN
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Kiper’s comments: It’s not a given that Mariota couldn’t fall further than this. But in his second season in New York, Geno Smith put up a QBR of 35.4, meaning the only regular starting QB from 2014 who performed worse was Blake Bortles. The reality is New York is no closer to knowing who their potential long-term solution at QB is than they were after the second day of the 2013 NFL draft. I’m certainly not alone in wondering whether Mariota’s brilliance in the Oregon offense makes him a likely star at the NFL level, but when you combine his skill set and his tremendous athletic ability combined with a great temperament and work ethic, he’s a player worthy of placing a bet on at this stage. It’s not so much a question of whether the Jets are convinced he’s the answer, as it is whether it would be smart to pass on him and assume they can find a solution anywhere else.

Todd McShay, ESPN
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
McShay’s comments: I see Mariota as being a notch below [Florida State quarterback Jameis] Winston, but I do believe he has the potential to become a good starter in this league, so long as the team that takes him has a plan to develop him. Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is a good fit for Mariota in that regard, given his history with spread-formation offenses. He can incorporate some up-tempo and zone-read elements for Mariota early while also developing his ability to win from the pocket, which is what Mariota will need to succeed long term.

Josh Norris, NBC/Rotoworld
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Norris’s comments: There is no reason to be down on Amari after the Combine. In fact, he solidified his evaluation. Amari wins with little wasted movement, burst and quickness when running routes to separate. That showed in his 3-cone and 20 yard short shuttle. The vertical was well below average, which matches his lack of proficiency in contested catches (albeit improving). His traits translate very well. To read more of this story, click here

McCown agrees to deal with Browns

There’s one less quarterback available to the Jets now. Journeyman Josh McCown, who spoke with Jets GM Mike Maccagnan last week at the NFL Combine, agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns Friday (AP, Feb. 27).

McCown, 35, spent last season with Tampa Bay, going 1-10. The Browns QB situation is muddled, with Johnny Manziel in rehab and Brian Hoyer likely to leave due to free agency.

Maccagnan tried to downplay the Jets interest in McCown last week. McCown had also been in talks with Buffalo.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

There’s not many options for the Jets at quarterback this offseason whether through the draft or free agency, but signing McCown would be the wrong move for the Jets.  A year removed from the magic he was able to muster in Chicago with Marc Trestman, Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte proved to be a whole other thing for McCown in Tampa … in fact he reverted to the performance he had demonstrated during the rest of his career.

This is no great loss for the Jets and for the team this season.